Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fighting for your rights in your satin tights.

Click play and crank it up, bitches!



Why do the gays love her so? Is it really so hard to figure out? Oh darlings, Jaime Sommers may have been doing her best to rock the peasant blouse and that blown-out seventies sun-bleached California hair that makes us think she styled it with cocaine, but our girl kicked ass in a bathing suit and four-inch heels, super-shiny hair eight inches off her head, accessories to die for,and a muthafuckin tiara. She was drag queen when drag queen wasn't cool.

And howabout those accessories! Bracelets that deflect bullets? A telepathic tiara? Earrings that let her breathe in space (don't ask)? And to top it off, a tasteful gold chain that not only bumps up the bling, but also forces other people to tell the truth and submit to her will? Sure, she might look a little like she should be standing in a used car lot holding a sign over her head that says "SUPER JULY 4TH BLOWOUT SALE!!!!!!!!" but who cares?












Honeys, just admit it. We can all only imagine the endless possibilities of such a useful wardrobe and sigh wistfully.

What budding little homo in the seventies didn't use up half his mother's tin foil fashioning his own homemade wonder accessories and surreptitiously spinning in his bedroom? None of them. The bulk of our classmates were staking claim to their own heterosexuality as they gazed proto-lustfully upon Lynda Carter's magnificent rack, but we precious few were secretly practicing our best impression of her megawatt smile in the bathroom mirror and daydreaming of the day she would come to pick us up to go shopping, practice our Vegas act, and then maybe let us brush her hair for a couple hours.

It goes further than mere nostalgia for a seventies campfest, though. Wonder Woman belongs in that rarified group of American pop culture icons instantly recognized by practically the entire public, from Mickey Mouse to Batman to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and she is, by most standards, the most subversive, most politicized character of them all and most people don't even realize it.

She was created in 1942 by Dr. William Moulton Marston, a psychologist whose work was instrumental in the creation of the lie detector and a rather colorful figure in his own right. He specifically wanted to create a female answer to the explosively popular Superman, but not so little girls could identify with her, as the conventional wisdom would assume, but so that little boys would.

Now one thing is for sure, Dr. Marston was RAGINGLY heterosexual. So much so that he enjoyed what was by all accounts a loving polygamous relationship with two women, one his wife, both of whom bore several of his children. They all lived happily and openly under one roof, where Dr. Marston, his wife and his mistress all liked to engage in bondage and submission play when the kids weren't around. Who can't relate to that, right?

Anyway, Dr. Marston set out to create a character that embodied his most deeply held passions in the hope of indoctrinating young boys into a philosophy that he felt would change the world. Namely, that in order for society to flourish and move forward, we would have to move into a voluntary matriarchy where men would "lovingly submit" to the superior will of women, who would naturally lead the world into a utopia because women are innately good and peaceful creatures whose most awesome power lies in their erotic hold over men.

Additionally, in order to tame the violent impulses that all men naturally have, the world would have to abolish war and replace it with athletic competitions and bondage play.












We're not making a word of this up.

From this boiling soup of psychology, sexual deviancy, pacifism and pseudo-feminism, he created Wonder Woman, a princess from a magical island with no men where the women live peacefully and submissively, competing in athletic competitions, enjoying bondage games and practicing cunnilingus on each other (presumably). Sculpted from clay by her mother the queen and given life by the gods who granted her great beauty, strength and will so that she would become their champion and change the world, she combined both the male and female aspects of classic heroic and romantic literature into one person. The princess in distress and the knight in shining armor all in one.

Dr. Marston obviously never achieved his goals and that's probably for the best, but he captured lightning in a bottle and managed to combine the Rosie-the Riveter imagery and changing roles of women at the time with his own bizarre social views and create a character for the ages.

Now, can anyone seriously question why the gays love her after that? She's gorgeous, fabulous, divinely accessorized, can dish out the shit like nobody's business, likes to tie guys up, and has as her main goal the complete destruction of the current social order. Girl, let's go out for coffee!

If that's not enough to convince you, how about this. The Queen held an athletic competition in order to decide who would become Wonder Woman and go out to change the world. Like all queens, she was a bitch and she forbid her daughter to compete. Diana, desperate to get off Lesbian Island and at least see a penis before she rejects it, disguises herself, enters the competition and of course, prevailed to the final round, the deadly bullets and bracelets.

We'll let Dr. Marston continue the story from there:

Did you get that? SHE SHOT A BITCH JUST TO GET A NEW OUTFIT AND GET THE HELL OUT OF HER HOMETOWN. You just try and name us a fag who can't relate.

Ripping the Collections: Jeffrey, Part Zwei






As far as we're concerned, this is how it should be done. It's still Jeffrey, still very now, but it's clean and it looks good on a woman's body. The proportions are perfect, the cut is stylish and the bag looks great. One of our favorites.



The judges didn't seem to like this one, but we did. The color fits with the rest of the collection and it's got that patented Sebelia "ugly/pretty" thing going on, which he does well. Yeah, it's a little too deconstructed for our tastes and it has at least one too many elements to it, but overall, we liked this.




This, on the other hand, is just plain ugly. The fabric, the color, the construction - none of it works. It's totally unflattering to her body and there's just way too much going on. An empire waist with pleating? And a ruffle? AND a layered hem? It's like a Sewing 101 project.




Oy. We're not going to mince words here, this was HIDEOUS. The fabric is ugly, it looks poorly sewn, the proportions are all way off and the overall effect is "bleh." Look at all the puckering in the trim around the collar. And the trim around the waist is crooked.

And sorry to say it, but that model was awful. She had absolutely no idea how to wear the clothes or walk on the runway.



Another one we liked. "And the Beat Goes On" meets "Mystery Achievement." Jeffrey's not innovative but he reimagines certain looks very well. We don't love the lawn chair fabric, but there's no denying that's a beautiful and beautifully made jacket.




Credit where credit's due, this is an absolute stunner. As we said, we're not crazy about the fabric but it totally works here and helps to highlight the masterful construction of this piece. The use of the zippers, the way the skirt creates its own pockets, and the way he used the stripes to highlight a woman's body (as opposed to hiding it or fighting it like he sometimes does) combined to make this one of the most memorable pieces out of all four collections. Marilinda looks adorable in it and she rocked it, but that "left my sunglasses on by the pool" makeup is awful.



As we said previously, he would not have been our choice for the win but that doesn't mean we don't think he deserved it. Frankly, "innovative" is a bullshit criterion for evaluating a collection because fashion is almost always variations on a theme, with true innovation being so rare (and in the end, relatively unimportant) that it's almost not worth mentioning. No, this collection wasn't innovative; it was risky, and THAT is absolutely a valid and expected criterion for judging a collection and from that angle, he definitely was the clear winner.

Who do we think should have won it? Well, tomorrow we're going to judge the judges and we'll let you know then.



[Photos: FirstView]


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Have a fabulously glamorous Halloween!


How could we not post this picture on our girl's favorite day?

Speaking of our girl, calm yourselves, chitlins. We'll be writing about our visit with her starting tomorrow. In the mean time, check out her blog entries on OUTZone and Bravo's Fashion Forward here and here. A (characteristically) juicy bit:

"So I myself became frightened when I saw that this was something that would be investigated and that it was possible that Jeffrey wouldn’t be showing a Bryant Park. It was always my intention to compete on the Runway, not in some accountant’s office. So when they did look at his receipts, and the one garment didn’t have the receipt, and he pulled the garment from his collection, I was happy with the results. Because the situation was over. And he would be showing and so I was relieved. But I don’t apologize for bringing it up. I wasn’t the only one thinking it. I didn’t drag anyone into it. I thought carefully about it."

We'll be wrapping up our thoughts on the collections today and tomorrow we'll be talking about the judges. Don't forget that on Thursday, we start blogging season one.

Also, Project: Gay launches tomorrow with a very special tribute to a lady that the gays all love and admire (plus we want to try on her jewelry). Who is this gal? You'll never guess.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ripping the Collections: Jeffrey, Part Eins


Out of the final four, it was Jeffrey whose collection made the strongest statement. The show itself was somewhat anti-show. The music, while beautiful and haunting, came off at times as downbeat and morose and the models couldn't walk to it at all. The styling was a little bleh and the shoes were downright ugly.

What it lacked in showmanship, however, it more than made up for in risk-taking and cohesion.

Let's start the show.


God, those shoes. They wound us. Probably not half as much as they wounded her, though.




Anyway, we'll start off by saying this fabric was plain ugly. In fact, Jeffrey almost always makes fabric choices we hate. We're not a big fan of all the extraneous strappy/hangy stuff, but the proportions work and the dress as a whole makes an impact, if an understated one.





Really, really hate the proportions here. That looks more like a foundation garment than a bathing suit. It is a bathing suit, right?

The jacket and bag are nice, though.



Lorenzo loved it, Tom hated it. Lorenzo thinks it looks young, pretty and delicate. Tom thinks she looks like Strawberry Shortcake.





We have to say, this really grew on us. Yeah, it's a little gimmicky and we question who would wear it, but there's something about the color and proportion, the careful sloppiness and planned asymmetry of the straps. It just works. Great pants too.





This one did not grow on us. We liked it on the rack when he showed it to Tim, but it got seriously ugly on a model. For once, we love the fabric, but we hate long-in-the-front hems. It always makes her look like she's wearing an apron. The dress looks deceptively simple but if you blow up the pic, he constructed the hell out of that thing. Too much so, in our opinion.





Love the jacket. The little capped sleeves and the open-zippered back look new and different. The skirt is great too, but this whole "tied together" thing has to go. He had the beginnings of a perfectly good design but that "uni-suspender" is distracting as hell. And pointless, to boot.


[Photos: FirstView]


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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ripping the Collections: Michael, Part Zwei






This collection is getting shinier with each outfit. Ignoring the color and fabric choice, which is of course nigh-impossible, we still don't like this one. The proportions seem off; belt too thick, waist too high, pockets in weird places. Just not working for us on any level.

We'll say one thing, that is one striking model. They had to Zamboni the runway to clean up all the attitude she splashed around.


Whither art thou, Pam Grier? There can be no better example of the difference in Mychael's work when he has guidance, because this is nothing more than a cheap knockoff of a much finer piece he did on a much lower budget.





Good god.

We don't even know what to say about this one. Tacky, too-tight in the wrong places (hello pelvis!) and just bad, bad bad.





This isn't bad. Like every other piece in the collection, there's too much going on but we like the proportions, the belt's not bad and the styling works. It's still hooker, mind you, but it's toned-down hooker.



This is at least less offensive than the other bathing suit, but if you've got something you want the model to take off on the runway, don't give her a big honkin' bag to carry at the same time. She looks like she's fishing for her room key.




Did Kayne help him out on this collection or something? Take away a couple of elements and it's a great dress, but it's hard to see under the distracting print and the beading and the excessive shininess. And we hate to say it, but she looks like she bought that bag off the back of a truck. Maybe that's why Clarissa looks so pissed off.



While it's true that Mychael wisely offered a range of looks and that's to be commended, unfortunately his looks ranged from "hooker by the pool," to "hooker out for drinks," to "hooker doing her shopping."

There's nothing wrong with sexy or even hootchie as the focus of a collection. Like everything else in fashion, it works if it's done well and there's real thought and expression behind it. We have no doubt that Michael really thought about it, but we think he's got some growing to do before we really see what he's about. This was too young, too raw, and just not sophisticated enough. Like all four of the finalists, he's a major talent with a future ahead of him but not everyone can get it right on the first try.



[Photos: FirstView]


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